There is, of course, a gold mine or a buried treasure on every mortgaged homestead. Whether the farmer ever digs for it or not, it is there, haunting his daydreams when the burden of debt is most unbearable.
Translation: He who wants Lent to seem short, should contract a debt to be repaid at Easter.
Translation reported in Harbottle’s Dictionary of quotations French and Italian (1904), p. 275.
It shows nobility to be willing to increase your debt to a man to whom you already owe much.
Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, II, 6, 2 (43 BC).
There are two things that bestow consequence; great possession, or great debts.
Reverend Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832), English cleric and writer. Lacon; or, Many Things in Few Words (1823).
I owe you one.
George Colman the Younger, The Poor Gentleman, Act I. 2; Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 181.
Anticipated rents, and bills unpaid,
Force many a shining youth into the shade,
Not to redeem his time, but his estate,
And play the fool, but at the cheaper rate.
William Cowper, Retirement, line 559; Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 181.
"My other piece of advice, Copperfield", said Mr. Micawber, "you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and, in short, you are for ever floored. As I am!"
Debt, grinding debt, whose iron face the widow, the orphan, and the sons of genius fear and hate; debt, which consumes so much time, which so cripples and disheartens a great spirit with cares that seem so base, is a preceptor whose lessons cannot be forgone, and is needed most by those who suffer from it most.
Poverty demoralizes. A man in debt is so far a slave; and Wall-street thinks it easy for a millionaire to be a man of his word, a man of honor, but, that, in failing circumstances, no man can be relied on to keep his integrity.
The debt was the most sacred obligation incurred during the war. It was by no means the largest in amount. We do not haggle with those who lent us money. We should not with those who gave health and blood and life. If doors are opened to fraud, contrive to close them. But don't deny the obligation, or scold at its performance.
Live within your means, never be in debt, and by husbanding your money you can always lay it out well. But when you get in debt you become a slave. Therefore I say to you never involve yourself in debt, and become no man's surety. If your friend is in distress, aid him if you have the means to spare. If he fails to be able to return it, it is only so much lost.
Andrew Jackson, letter to his ward Andrew Jackson Hutchings (April 18, 1833).
You must, to get through life well, practice industry with economy, never create a debt for anything that is not absolutely necessary, and if you make a promise to pay money at a day certain, be sure to comply with it. If you do not, you lay yourself liable to have your feelings injured and your reputation destroyed with the just imputation of violating your word.
Such was the origin of that debt which has since become the greatest prodigy that ever perplexed the sagacity and confounded the pride of statesmen and philosophers. At every stage in the growth of that debt the nation has set up the same cry of anguish and despair. At every stage in the growth of that debt it has been seriously asserted by wise men that bankruptcy and ruin were at hand. Yet still the debt went on growing; and still bankruptcy and ruin were as remote as ever.
Thomas Babington Macaulay, History of England (1849-1861), Volume 8 (The Complete Writings of Lord Macaulay, Volume 8), chapter 19 (1899).
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Since those who rule in the city do so because they own a lot, I suppose they're unwilling to enact laws to prevent young people who've had no discipline from spending and wasting their wealth, so that by making loans to them, secured by the young people's property, and then calling those loans in, they themselves become even richer and more honored.
Plato, The Republic, 555c, G. Grube and C. Reeve, trans., Plato: Complete Works (1997), p. 1166.
It's dynamite to spend future earnings. I have had a taste of it myself, and it's mighty bitter. A debt is a debt, whether it's margins or mortgages; and debts are all the same, no matter how you try to camouflage 'em. You never get much out of 'em except trouble. On the farm or in Wall Street, if you use the other fellow's money, it costs you a lot more than it's worth.